Dirk Lefeber, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
Abstract: New robotic technologies are unable to compensate for the many drawbacks that comes along with conventional electrical actuators, like high reflective inertia, high stiffness,low force-to-weight ratio. These new robotic applications can strongly benefit from compliant actuator technology. Instead of introducing compliance on the control level through application, this approach is based on inherent adaptable compliance on a purely mechanical level. In this way intrinsic compliance is assured at all time, enhancing system safety. This is easily countered with the range of potential benefits, adding value to existing applications and also creating new applications in robotics. The lecture will provide an overview of compliant actuator technologies developed by different research groups is given. Some applications in prosthetics and rehabilitation robotics are discussed in which these compliant actuators are incorporated.